Attack of the Hidden Fees: How to Breathe New Life into Your TEM Processes

Imagine… looking at your bank account and noticing your balance is lower than expected. Did a monster steal your identity or have you purchased something without knowing? You notice in your past charges that your telecom provider increased your rates by surprise and charged you a mysterious fee – leaving a bigger hole in your account than you imagined.



This disturbing experience occurs all too frequently with personal telephone and cable bills – and the same thing happens to businesses regularly all over the world. From late fees to unused lines, businesses are attacked by hidden charges everywhere!

If you already have a telecom and technology expense management (TEM) plan in place, you are on the right path. We understand that many organizations are completely content with their current TEM processes – whether it is tracking assets and expenses via Excel spreadsheets, managing the environment in an IT web-application or ignoring it completely – if you dare!

If you are tired of the same-old process and are seeking ways to improve them – look no further than the following five steps to breathe new life into your IT expense management strategy and protect yourself against hidden fees.



ONE. Create a Skeleton of your TEM Environment

The first step in any type of project management is to create an outline (or for the fun of Halloween – a skeleton) of your scope of work. For telecom and technology, putting documentation such as invoices, order changes, additions and cancellations into a universal document will allow you to keep track of your data in once place.

Pull your TEM environment together with a TEM skeleton.



TWO. Don’t let your Inventory Ghost You

Your telecom and technology inventory includes a variety of devices – from telephones, to data circuits… tablets, to mobile phones: theses small items add up and can easily be lost without tracking them accordingly. To avoid letting these assets disappear into thin air, make sure to organize the devices in your spreadsheet or tool of choice to keep track of costs as they accumulate.

Keep track of your IT inventory.



THREE. Eyeball Your Invoices

Do you recall your cable bill spiking an additional $25 in last month’s automatic charge? Well the costs and timing may vary, but we have all experienced these unexpected increases in our personal bills – your organization’s telecom bills aren’t any different and if you aren’t paying attention to each individual invoice, you could be paying way more than originally agreed upon.

By reviewing invoices regularly and auditing past invoices, you can see clearly into your TEM environment to make sure you aren’t paying late fees, overage charges and other unnecessary and wasteful spend.

Perform a quality audit – don’t pay unnecessary fees!



FOUR. Identify Users Who Have Gone Cold

Most wireless vendors offer a standard billing summary that you can obtain to identify users who may not even be using their devices. If you notice users who are in the process of going cold with very little activity, it may be time to discuss killing their line.

Sort out your low-use users.



FIVE. Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate Locked-Rates with Your Vendor

We have heard many times before that vendor negotiation is a painful process. Effective negotiation requires expertise – whether you do it yourself through vigorous research, or you outsource with a TEM expert. Negotiation isn’t easy but will definitely assist your organization’s control over your telecom costs.

Negotiation is imperative to locked-in rates.



Wrapping it Up

New technology and tools continue to add complexity to the telecom space, making it hard to track expenses accurately. With so many elements, it can be easy to lose sight of services that are no longer valuable or are overpriced. To effectively protect yourself from the attack of hidden fees, take control of your telecom environment and cut costs by implementing a TEM strategy or team u with a service provider like Valicom.

Access advanced functionality with a tailored telecom expense management software. Why does TEM software win the attack against hidden fees over Excel?

Contracts: Host all of your contracts in one place and get notifications when one is about to expire

Synchronous Work: Application-based tools allow your to collaborate and work together, rather than ‘Save As’ and sending messages like ‘please work from this version of the spreadsheet’

Customized Reporting: 54 pre-built reports come standard, and you can create and export unlimited custom reports

Multi-User Flexibility: Delegate tasks to your team with permission based accounts.

Detailed Cost Allocation: Divide your invoices up to 1% of the total bill. Assign costs based on locations, employees, or department. Transparency in costs just got so much easier.

Advanced Inventory: All of the details of your individual inventory items in one place (carrier, invoice number, circuit number, BTN, etc)

If you are ready to step up from your Excel spreadsheets and explore a TEM software, schedule a demo with our TEM experts who can answer questions and give TEM tips. TEM software, like Clearview, will allow you to identify billing errors and determine what tools are costing you the most without providing value. Thus, eliminating unnecessary services and accurately capturing costs.

About the Author: Chantel Soumis

Chantel Soumis brings over a decade of knowledge in workflow enhancement through the use of technology. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Valicom’s advanced telecom expense management software and services by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.